The Question -
Good Morning Athena! I had to take a pause on my stationery & design passion for family and work, but I am now ready to re-establish my Wedding Stationery business. In working with a Branding Strategist, she mentioned that she felt that based on my designs, that my target market should be Wedding Event Planners, versus actual brides. I wanted to reach out to you to find out if this is common, and if so, if you have some suggestions on tapping into this market. I would like to host a launch party for Event Planners where I'd have designs on display as well as host some other wedding professionals for networking purposes. I'd also look to host a keynote speaker to discuss a topic that is important to planners (still in development/idea stage). I wanted to attend bridal expos, but I am wondering if my money would be better spent by offering a temporary discount to targeted event planners to establish a relationship and trust. I feel like I am rambling, so I apologize - but thanks for listening and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Loreal Newson | Principal Designer & Owner
Thank you for your question. Trust me I understand needing to focus on life and family. We all need to take a pause from time to time. I am proud to hear you are working with a Branding Strategist. Knowing who our target/ideal client market is, is very vital knowledge to have in order to heighten the success of our businesses.
Let me answer each one of your questions. First you asked if I have any suggestions for tapping into the wedding/event planner market. Your idea about a launch party is an excellent idea. Allow me to adjust a few things. When you are doing a launch you want to make sure the primary focus remains on your business and product. Inviting other professionals to network and having a Keynote speaker takes the attention away. It also creates the focus to be networking and the content the speaker shares. Instead I would partner with vendors who would highlight your product. A designer to create a simple tablescape so you can showcase your stationary for Table numbers, menu card, place cards etc. A caterer to provide a simple heavy appetizer menu. The speaker should be YOU! You can have a display of previous work and walk them through your process. With your audience being Wedding /Event Planners, it is beneficial for them to know the booking/ordering process, rates, turnaround timeframe and all the available options. Partner with a photographer to take photos of your work and the event. Keeping the focus on your business and your product keeps this as a true Launch Party vs a Networking event.
This brings me to your last question on building the relationship with Wedding/ Event Planners. I would research who you want to invite and get their address. Send an actual invitation as a bride would to her wedding guests. This is a great introduction of your product and its quality. This also shows the Wedding/Event planners you stand by your product, investing in your product and are interested in time to get to know them and work with them. In addition, the invitation will be a keepsake Wedding/Event Planners can use to introduce your product to their clients.
As far as offering a temporary discount, I wouldn't. Instead do some research and look into creating an affiliate program. The discount only provides you a smaller value, and a temporary situation to the audience. However a long-term affiliate program will benefit both your company and the Wedding/Event Planners. They will consistently refer clients, and you will be busy creating!!!
Look into Venue open houses as well. Most venue open houses are of no cost to participate and this places you in front of Wedding/Event Planners, other vendors and potential brides:)